Tuesday March 7th
The dawning of a new day, and the weird English chick with a fringe returns to school to face the mob. Stu and Dad talked me into it over Dunkin’ Donuts (Maple Frosted and Chocolate Crème Filled) bought especially to lure me out of bed. Stu told Dad about The Quarterback Debacle, thankfully a censored version and not in my presence, and it was kinda nice to have the other two men in my life finally know. It put everything into perspective and I realized it wasn’t the end of the world, as we know it.
I changed my mind about this as I walked up to the steps. All of a sudden I didn’t feel as anonymous as I normally do and it is bizarre to have people actually notice you, look at you, wait until you’ve passed by and say something about you. I decided that the best way to cope was to treat it like a sociological exercise, to study my peers in a purely intellectual and objective way.
The objectivity went out of the window when I ran straight into Him. When I say ‘ran straight into him’ I mean exactly that. If he weren’t so God damned tall and solid, I would have knocked him over. He did at least look a bit winded and slightly shaken. He hadn’t had time to compose his features into an acceptable and appropriate expression so he looked like a startled fawn. Christ, did I just liken him to a fawn? Bambi he is not, but there was a vulnerability in his eyes that isn’t usually there – well not in public at least. I felt like yelling at him, “You’re a sociopath! For God’s sake toughen up!” It seemed that it was left to me to be the Douche. “Watch where you’re going,” I said with a sneer, and was tempted to add, “Douche,” but thought that might be a bit too much. I sort of shouldered him out of the way and kept on down the corridor, attempting to look cool.
“Emilyl!” he stammered after me. Yes, you heard it right, he called my name in a crowded school corridor. In front of people. I just kept going and kept going until I reached the bathroom where I almost threw up. I shut myself in a cubicle and sat on the toilet with my head in my hands. I had absolutely no idea why I had just behaved like that. I played with my phone on the verge of texting him an apology but I couldn’t do it. If I did that, he would presume all sorts of things and then what would happen? It was much better to pretend none of it had ever happened and get back to my old life; the one where I was invisible and untroubled.
It’s amazing isn’t it? Before any of this happened I hardly ever saw him, only in Math class and occasionally lounging around on the steps. But now I’m trying to avoid him, he is EVERYWHERE. When I went to English he was there, talking to Mrs Prentice. When I came out of English he was in the corridor tying his shoelace. When I went to lunch he was lining up two places in front of me. When I went to meet Stu in the quad, he was sitting on the wall reading a book (yeh, rightf) and I almost expected him to be hanging out with the girls when I went to the bathroom. When Math class came around, at least he had a legitimate reason to be there sucking in all the oxygen. Why can’t I breathe when he’s in the room? Why do I find myself staring at that little curl at the back of his head when I’m supposed to be following what Drexler is saying?
It seems The Quarterback and The Girlfriend are no longer. They both sat in Math pointedly ignoring each other, her radiating silent animosity towards both him and me I suspect. She kept jabbing her pen into her desk in a most disconcerting manner. Drexler had a whole lot of people to quiz about their lack of focus today! There was a living and breathing love triangle to distract from the algebra. I felt like I was auditioning for a new ABC drama.
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